3.16.2009

Forex Trading Methods - Swing Trading

What is Swing Trading?

Swing Trading sits in the middle of the continuum between day trading and trend following. Swing traders hold a particular stock for a period of time, generally between a few days and two or three weeks, and trade the stock on the basis of the general upward or downward trends.

Swing Trading takes advantage of brief price swings in strongly trending stocks to ride the momentum in the direction of the trend and combines the best of two worlds - the slower pace of investing and the increased potential gains of day trading. Swing Trading is not high-speed day trading. Some people call it momentum investing, because you only hold positions that are making major moves. By rolling your money over rapidly through short term gains you can quickly build up your equity.

What are the (dis)advantages of Swing Trading?

Swing Trading combines the best of two worlds - the slower pace of investing and the increased potential gains of day trading. It works well for part-time traders - especially those doing it while at work. While day traders typically have to stay glued to their computers for hours at a time, feverishly watching minute-to-minute changes in quotes, Swing Trading doesn't require that type of focus and dedication.

While day traders gamble on stocks popping or falling by fractions of points, swing traders try to ride "swings" in the market. Swing Traders buy fewer stocks and aim for bigger gains, they pay lower brokerage and, theoretically, have a better chance of earning larger gains. With Day Trading, the only person getting rich is the broker. "Swing traders go for the meat of the move while a day trader just gets scraps." Furthermore, to swing trade, you don't need sophisticated computer hook-ups or lightning quick execution services and you don't have to play extremely volatile stocks.

Of course, the problem with both swing trading and long-term trend following is that success is based on correctly identifying what type of market is currently being experienced. Looking back over the past few years, trend following would have been the ideal strategy for the raging bull market of the last half of the 1990s, while swing trading probably would have been best for 2000 and 2001. With the 2002 bear market, the best strategy would have been to follow the trend and short everything in sight. As economists and traders would agree, the most accurate insight into trends is viewed in retrospect.

There is a risk that prices will break the channel and that swing traders buy or sell at the worst time; thus losing invested capital. The 'preservation of capital' as a paramount consideration across all trading, and also applies when Swing Trading. Other risks inherent in equities or financial instruments trading exist, such as market risk, sector risk, and company risk.

How does Swing Trading work?

The basic strategy of Swing Trading is to jump into strongly trending currencies after its period of consolidation or correction is complete. Strongly trending currencies often make a quick move after completing its correction which one can profit from.

It should be noted that in either of the two market extremes, the bear-market environment or bull market, swing trading proves to be a rather different challenge than in a market that is between these two extremes. In these extremes, even the most active stocks will not exhibit the same up-and-down oscillations that they would when indices are relatively stable for a few weeks or months. In a bear market or a bull market, momentum will generally carry stocks for a long period of time in one direction only, thereby ensuring that the best strategy will be to trade on the basis of the longer-term directional trend. The swing trader, therefore, is best positioned when markets are going nowhere—when indices rise for a couple of days and then decline for the next few days, only to repeat the same general pattern again and again. A couple of months might pass with major stocks and indices roughly the same as their original levels, but the swing trader has had many opportunities to catch the short terms movements up and down (sometimes within a channel).

So, swing traders are not looking to hit the home run with a single trade—they are not concerned about perfect timing to buy a stock exactly at its bottom and sell exactly at its top (or vice versa). In a perfect trading environment, they wait for the stock to hit its baseline and confirm its direction before they make their moves. The story gets more complicated when a stronger up-trend or down-trend is at play: the trader may paradoxically go long when the stock jumps below its EMA and wait for the stock to go back up in an uptrend, or he or she may short a stock that has stabbed above the EMA and wait for it to drop if the longer trend is down.

When it comes time to take profits, the swing trader will want to exit the trade as close as possible to the upper or lower channel line without being overly precise, which may cause the risk of missing the best opportunity. In a strong market, when a stock is exhibiting a strong directional trend, traders can wait for the channel line to be reached before taking their profit, but in a weaker market they may take their profits before the line is hit (in the event that the direction changes and the line does not get hit on that particular swing).

Swing Trading, while a good trading style for beginning traders, still offers significant profit potential for intermediate and advanced traders. Swing traders can realize sufficient rewards on their trades after a couple of days, which keep them motivated, but their long and short positions of several days are of ideal duration so as to not lead to distraction. By contrast, trend following offers greater profit potential if a trader is able to catch a major market trend of weeks or months, but there are few traders with sufficient discipline to hold a position for that period of time without getting distracted. On the other hand, trading dozens of stocks per day (Day Trading) may just prove too great a white-knuckle ride for some, making Swing Trading the perfect medium between the extremes.
Forex Trading Methods - Swing TradingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

What is Forex?

If you would go out on a dinner with your friends or family and you mentioned that you were trading on the Forex market most of them wouldn’t know what you were talking about. The worst thing is that most of the Forex traders that join the Forex market don’t know what they are doing. Understanding what Forex is, is the first good step to your success at Forex trading.


The foreign exchange market (Currency, Forex, or FX) is where currency trading takes place. It is where banks and other official institutions facilitate the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Forex transactions typically involve one party purchasing a quantity of one currency in exchange for paying a quantity of another. The foreign exchange market that we see today started evolving during the 1970s when world over countries gradually switched to floating exchange rate from their erstwhile exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system till 1971.

Today, the Forex market is one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the world, and includes trading between large banks, central banks, currency speculators, corporations, governments, and other institutions. The average daily volume in the global foreign exchange and related markets is continuously growing. Traditional daily turnover was reported to be over US$3.2 trillion in April 2007 by the Bank for International Settlements. Since then, the market has continued to grow. According to Euromoney's annual Forex Poll, volumes grew a further 41% between 2007 and 2008.

Forex Turnover

Forex Turnover
Main foreign exchange market turnover, 1988 - 2007, measured in billions of USD.
The purpose of Forex market is to facilitate trade and investment. The need for a foreign exchange market arises because of the presence of multifarious international currencies such as US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Yen, etc., and the need for trading in such currencies. Since you aren’t buying anything physical this kind of trading can be confusing. When buying a currency think of it as buying a part in that particular country’s economy because the currency rate reflects the economical situation of the country when compared to others.

Currencies

Currencies
List of most popular currencies on the Forex market

Forex used to be a closed market because only the “big boys” because you needed between 10 and 50 million $ to open an account. But today, with the development of internet, online Forex brokers have the possibility to offer their services to “little” traders. All you need to start is a computer, fast internet connection and information which you can find on this page also.

This enormous market is like the dangerous sea where you can meet lots of sharks and dangerous waters but at the same time it is the only one where two weeks of trading can hypothetically bring you $1,000,000 out of $1,000 of initial investment.

This is certainly hypothetically because a lot of newbie traders deal with their trades as gambling, that surely bring them to having nothing in the end. You should always keep the phrase "be careful!" in your mind. This market would give you its profit possibilities only if you learn the basic things hard and make lots of demo trading.

The statistics is that as much as 95% of traders come to losing their money at Forex, 5% have profit and less than 1% of traders make large fortune at Forex. You shouldn't produce, sell or advertise anything trading at Forex. Your assets are your knowledge, experience and a small amount of cash.

This market is a platform for banks, transnational corporations and individual traders to change the currencies they possess into other ones. This is the spot Forex market. At this market you can trade with up to 1:400 leverage which means that you'll get $400 on your account for each dollar invested. So, you can trade with the $400,000 sum having invested $1,000 onto your account.

Forex is unique among other world markets because in any time of day and night, somewhere in the world, a financial centre is open for business, banks and corporations exchange currency all the time, with a little lower frequency during the weekend.

Why to trade on Forex?

1. There is no commission fee for trading at Forex.
2. There is no intermediary, you can trade directly at Forex.
3. Forex is open 24-hours a day.
4. Nobody can influence the market for a longer period.
5. High liquidity.
6. Free demo accounts, analysis and charts.
7. Small accounts that allow everyone to try out his luck.

Hope this has answered a lot of questions you were asking yourself about Forex and that you can now start trading. Also make sure that you check out other articles on this blog which can help you earn your fortune.

Good luck to everyone!